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Nerds To Protest Outside London's Scientology Centres

By Londonist Last edited 107 months ago
Nerds To Protest Outside London's Scientology Centres
London%20Scientology%20protest%20poster.jpg

A group of masked protesters will gather outside the Church of Scientology's centres in London on Sunday morning at 11am, starting at the centre on Queen Victoria St before moving on to the Goodge St location. But what has prompted this IRL display of anger?

The protests - which will take place in various other countries on the same day - are the latest and strangest episode in an all-out war between the famously litigious Church of Scientology and a mysterious group known as "Anonymous", a loose collective of internet users united by their love of cat macros and their hatred of controls on free speech (mostly because it threatens to stop them swapping hentai).

This long-simmering antipathy was recently stoked to unprecedented heights by the Church of Scientology's efforts to suppress a video of famed Scientologist Tom Cruise creepily declaring the depth of his love for the "religion", and its miraculous power to cure mental illness, stop wars, and allow him to shoot death beams from his eyes (that last one is not as exaggerated as you might think).

Anonymous, organised on websites such as 4chan (NWS), 711chan (NWS) and others, took exception to the rash of copyright infringement notices which hit YouTube versions of the clip, and declared war. The first wave of attacks, in mid-January, involved DDOS attacks on CoS websites to try and take them offline, hacking of CoS servers to find "dox" (secret Church documents and writings usually restricted to those who have paid enough, er, managed to rid themselves of sufficient numbers of thetans) and distributing them on file-sharing sites, and faxing endless loops of black paper to CoS machines to make them waste ink. Dubbed "Project Chanology" (boring Wikipedia article here, far more enjoyable Encyclopaedia Dramatica article here, possibly NWS), the attacks prompted an investigation into the history and methods of the Church of Scientology, and the more Anonymous found out, the less it liked what it saw.

In fact, Anonymous' members got so riled that they decided to picket the CoS, leaving their basements and getting special permission from their WoW guilds to be AFK for the morning of Sunday 10th February - the birthday of Lisa McPherson, who, critics allege, died of neglect while in the hands of the CoS.

What these protests will achieve is questionable - in fact, a CoS spokesperson said that they were gaining many new enquiries as a result of the increased publicity - but the fact that the past excesses and rather dubious foundations of the CoS, founded, we must never forget, by a writer of pulp fiction who is on record as saying that the best way to get rich is to "start a religion", are coming to a new and wide audience shouldn't be underestimated. The media (Economist, Guardian, Telegraph...) have taken note, anyway. Another beneficiary: sellers of V masks, the preferred facial garb for the discerning member of Anonymous.

For more details on where to meet, what to wear, and what not to say, visit londonlulz. For more information on worldwide protests and further activity, visit the Enturbulation forums. For more information about Scientology, visit www.xenu.net.

Last Updated 09 February 2008

Louanne

Do your homework. This campaign against Scientology has nothing to do with taking down a Cruise video clip (because Anonymous attacked Scientologists way before that video made it on YouTube). This campaign might not even have anything to do with Scientology but is just an attempt to sabotage a single successful actor who took on some tender subjects recently. But what is really hypocritical in all of that is that the criminal Anonymous activities, death threats and bomb threats with create new atmosphere on the internet, more police presence, more funding for government cyber squads etc etc etc. Thanks, Anons, your IQ must have dropped below that one of your cat.

Louanne

Poor show today, 150 scared, not scary, masks showing up. As I said, information is free and you should get it. Like here www.scientologymyths.info .

Plantlife

There are no death threats or bomb threats. The site that you posted links to is totally sympathetic to the Chruch Of Scientology, and you are a scientologist.
For proper information about Scientology, go to www.xenu.net
This site involves the testimony of many people who managed to escape the abusive clutches of scientology.

JoJo

@Lu, you're completely incoherent and rambling. As the saying goes, knowledge is free, Scientology's not. I'm not going to quibble over numbers - life's too short - the protests were brilliant fun, and a great way to get the word out. Epic win, dear, not epic fail.

Were you inside a "Church" building, perchance? Hmm.

@Plantlife: Hail Xenu, our dark alien overlord! I don't want to get thrown into no volcano, nuh uh. Come, body thetans, and fill me from the crown to the toe topfull of your sweet, sweet alien rage.

EscapeInt is another good resource.

Andrew Real Freeman

Lmfao I was in London today with our Opxenu boys and girls, the writer here has firslty no understanding of Anonymous or even what we do, its frankly a rediculous artical but im sure it would get you a nice position in FOX news :P LMFAO

And it's not cat macros but cat memes ffs, a macros is a piece of code that creates a function a meme is a picture that pokes fun at current social situations...